On the cover. Echinocereus triglochidiatus var. mojavensis (Engelm. & Bigel.) L. Benson graces the cover of this special issue of the Journal. This variety of Claret Cup or Strawberry Hedgehog is also known as the Mojave Kingcup Cactus and can be found in northern Arizona, southern Nevada, southwest Utah and south-central California at elevations of 900-2500 m. This plant experiences winter frost in most of its range, and is known to be hardy to USDA zones 3 and 4, so it is good choice for the hardy cactus garden in colder climates. All varieties of E. triglochidiatus have large red flowers with rounded petals and are mainly distinguished by geographic distribution and variations in the spines and stems. The diurnal flowers remain open for two or three days and are followed by red fruits.
Pat Fusaro photographed this plant off the Cima road in southern California's Mojave National Preserve. The California Desert Protection Act established the 1.6 million acre Mojave Preserve in 1994. Forty miles south of Las Vegas, the park is bordered by I-15 to the north, I-40 to the south, and the California-Nevada border to the east. The National Parks Conservation Association (www.npca.org) considers it to be one of the most threatened of the national parks due to private and public development plans.